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Yahoo Finance has a story in which it quotes Starbucks CEO Kevin Johnson talking about "the massive disruption" affecting bricks-and-mortar retail, saying that its "clear that the winners coming out of this are going to be those companies who find elegant ways to bring an in-store experience together with a digital experience."

Starbucks Chairman Howard Schultz elaborated: "[What] we’ve seen over the last few months with Walmart and Jet.com and PetSmart and Chewy and most recently Amazon and Whole Foods, I think ... we’re in the nascent stage of these kinds of commercial relationships that are going to elevate the experience of a brick-and-mortar retail company."

Schultz added, naturally, that "having said that, Starbucks is probably best positioned, given our national footprint, the demography of our customers, and where we’re located to have those kinds of conversations.”
KC's View:
Of course, the Starbucks executives were making these comments in a week when the company's stock price dropped more than seven percent after it said it would close down its Teavana chain and reported quarterly profit that was below that expected by analysts.

I think they're right about where things are going. But I'm not entirely sure that I buy the "best positioned" argument. It seems to me that there are a lot of moving pieces at Starbucks these days - they're trying to cut costs at the same time as they're investing a ton in things like the Roastery concept. I think they're pushing upscale, which could put the company in some difficulty if the economy goes south.